While the Ivorian Popular Front – FPI torn apart in a fratricidal feud, RDR in a strong demonstration of Power plebiscite its candidate Alassane Ouattara for the 2015 presidential
As the country seeks to move on from years of political turmoil, Alassane Ouattara was officially designated this Sunday, the candidate of his party in the presidential election of October, crucial for the Ivory Coast, which is emerging from a decade of political and military crisis in which Alassane was one of the main instigators.
The Sports Palace in Treichville, a neighborhood of Abidjan, was invaded for this extraordinary congress to plebiscite Alassane Ouattara. Thousands of party members shouted “Yes, yes!” when asked by RDR secretary general Amadou Soumahoro whether the president should be given a second mandate. The 73-year-old incumbent leader faced no challengers as he was officially chosen as the presidential candidate for the ruling Rally of Republicans (RDR)
The widely expected decision was later confirmed in a resolution adopted at the congress and read out by Anne-Desiree Ouloto, minister for Solidarity, Family and Women.
The party “has appointed Alassane Ouattara, economist, as the RDR candidate”, she told the crowd at the Treichville sports palace, which also included thousands of sympathizers who had shown up to show their support for their president.
Faced with a divided opposition, Ouattara, is tipped to win the October 2015 presidential vote.
Ouattara, we recall since the death of the first president, Felix Houphouet Boigny in 1993, has always wanted to be president of Ivory Coast by all means. After several coup attempts and a rebellion that divided the Ivory Coast in two, he finally managed to take office in a 2011 coup with the help of Nicolas Sarkozi then president of France, UN and the invisible international community after a bloody post-election crisis triggered by the refusal of former President Laurent Gbagbo to cede power, calling to electoral fraud by Alassane Ouattara and his rebels allies in the 2010 presidential vote. More than 3,000 people lost their lives in the ensuing unrest.
Following a decade of political and military crisis, the economy in the west African nation has been revitalised during Ouattara’s four years in power.
The economy of the world’s largest cocoa producer expanded by nine percent between 2012 and 2014, with strong investment in the public sector.
Ouattara has pledged to maintain similar levels of growth until 2020. But his critics say that the
fruits of development have not been well distributed among the population of around 20 million people.
Ouattara also claims credit for restoring calm in the former French colony, although opposition figures and civil society activists argue that despite the creation of a truth and reconciliation committee to help heal the wounds of conflict, the results have not been significant enough.
And while former first lady Simone Gbagbo was harshly and unjustifiably sentenced to 20 years behind bars this month for her role in fomenting the post-election violence, no charges have yet been brought against Ouattara’s supporters who also committed numerous murders, abuses and crimes against humanity, raising claims of “victor’s justice”.
The Democratic Party, an ally of the RDR, has decided at a special party congress in Abidjan, not to field a candidate in October to help ensure Ouattara’s victory
“For his second term that seem assured Ivorian youths have high expectations of Ouattara,” warned a sympathizer, Aboubacar Konaté, drums shoulder.
“The President must address the unemployment problems facing youth otherwise it will be a social time bomb that will explode in his face,” added Michel Miézan.
For her part, Fatou Soro, mother of four children, wrapped in his purple loincloth with the effigy of Mr Ouattara appealed to the realization of the promises was made to women.